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Improving the overall health of a workforce has a direct impact on productivity and employee satisfaction. By taking a few measures and sticking to habits, a business can cultivate a happier culture while still promoting hard work.

However, as soon as some leaders hear the word, “healthy,” they’re quick to expect significant investments, which can be difficult for startups or small businesses.

We’ll cover just a few ways businesses can encourage employees to develop healthier habits without having to worry about the final bill.

Get more sunlight

When you’re in an office building, it’s easy for everyone to become so concentrated in the work that they may choose to stay indoors for the majority of the day. However, when you can, encourage your employees to try and get some more vitamin D by opening up the curtains or taking a quick walk outside. Vitamin D deficiencies may cause your team to feel weaker and may lead to more serious issues like osteoporosis.

Take occasional breaks

And not just for smoke breaks. That means reminding your team to step away from the computer, walk around, drink some water, or even meditate. It’s easy to get wrapped up in routines and projects, but even a five-minute break can be enough to ease stress or anxiety. Allow yourself and your team some room to breathe, and you all might come back to work feeling more focused.

Offer Healthcare and Gym Benefits

Admittedly, this suggestion may be the most costly of the options, but the return is also perhaps the most significant. When businesses incorporate a wellness or health program, employees find greater motivation in maintaining healthy habits, as they begin to see the connection between physical and mental health, and their work performance. Check nearby gyms or healthcare providers that offer bundle packages or discounted plans for local businesses.

Expansive has partnered with TriNet to offer up to 50% off on on healthcare, payroll, and worker’s comp. Learn more here.

Keep healthy snacks around the office

If all the food in your office is junk food, or order fast food lunches for the team a few times a week, then it’s difficult for employees to maintain a healthy diet when there are fast and free unhealthy options laying around. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives. Keep a fruit bowl and some water or orange juice as options. Expansive kitchens are frequently stocked with yogurts, granola bars, and nuts, all of which are are perfect healthy options for satiating an appetite between meals.

Set up more dynamic workstations

Staying seated can be one of the worst things to do all day, there’s even a TEDx Talk on the subject with over 2 million views. Staying seated can make muscles weaker, ruin skeletal postures, and restrict regular blood flow. To combat this, work in different areas of the office around the day. If you’re a Expansive member, the Coworking spaces have a variety of unique places to work at, from desks to bars, and from couches to stools! Perhaps you can also consider trading in the swivel chair for a stability ball, or your old desk for a standing desk. These furniture and workspace changes will help your team develop better posture while they work.

Encourage open conversations about health

Wellness is one of the most important aspects of a business, but almost seldom discussed. Creating a health plan isn’t about leadership, it’s about collaboration. Get input from your team members and employees to find out what their biggest concerns and challenges are in taking care of their body. The less time they spend worrying on their wellness and other health aspects, the better.

Mental health is just as important

We’ve covered a few ways to keep your team physically healthy, but it’s equally important to remember to take care of your team’s mental health as well. Long work hours, strict deadlines, and competitive environments may not always be conducive to a healthy or balanced mindset. Keep these things in mind as you are developing your business and office culture, and remember to have resources available such as professional counseling or therapy.

Don’t expect a few changes to lead to immediate results. Introduce changes one by one. Test it out, get some feedback, and keep going. The key to health is to create habits you can maintain. It’s a lot like exercise, getting started may be difficult, but once you get into the rhythm, it’s even more difficult to stop!

Check out Expansive ’s blog for more tips and info on health and wellness.